Today is the last day of 2015 and with the Euros just six months away, we take a look at who made the cut for our top 11 2015 Italians of the year. The players were selected based on a 4-4-2 formation.
GK: Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus)
What can be said about the legend Buffon that hasn’t been said already? Like a fine wine he gets better with age and was so close in winning the treble. A leader on and off the pitch, both with Juventus and the Azzurri, no Italian goalkeeper comes close to Buffon.
Matteo Darmian (Manchester United):
Darmian had a spectacular start with his new club after his acquistion from Torino. Although his form of late hasn’t been great, there is no denying his skill on the flanks and his pace. He was the only member of the Azzurri to play in every Euro qualifier.
Alessandro Florenzi (Roma):
Florenzi has demonstrated a tremendous versatility playing in different roles. He has the ability to play with tenacity and also display some great skill, as evidenced by that wonderful Champions League goal versus Barcelona which coincidentally, was selected as a finalist for the FIFA Puskas Award for the goal of the year.
Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus):
Chiellini was instrumental in playing a key role as part of the “blocco Juve” with both the bianconeri and the Azzurri. Apart from a few defensive lapses he had a pretty consistent season, using his physicality well making him a stopper difficult to go through.
Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus):
Another key member of “blocco Juve” for Juventus and the Azzurri, Bonucci arguably played his best football ever in 2015, taking his game to another level. We saw flashes of offensive flair in addition to solid defending.
Marco Verratti (Paris St. Germain):
Verratti led PSG to win the Ligue 1 championship and reach the quarter-finals of the Champions League losing to eventual winners Barcelona. He plays in the midfield at a high level, tracking balls and making wonderful plays with intricate passing.
Antonio Candreva (Lazio):
Always dangerous on the attack and plays at a full throttle pace, leading the charge for his team. Rarely do you see Candreva run out of gas and play fatigued. He is constantly in movement creating opportunities for his teammates.
Claudio Marchisio (Juventus):
Marchisio has definitely played his best football in 2015. He has really stepped up his game particularly with his passing, and rarely do you see him taking it easy on the pitch where he gives his all for his team.
Andrea Pirlo (New York City FC):
After helping Juventus win the scudetto he began a new adventure in MLS. Pirlo showed that despite his age, he still has a knack for making difficult passes look easy and always finds a way to get the ball to his teammates.
Domenico Berardi (Sassuolo):
Not only has Berardi been impressive with his goal scoring, but also with his playmaking abilities providing vital assists to his teammates. His goal total would be even higher if he had been given more service.
Sebastian Giovinco (Toronto FC):
MLS MVP and top goal scorer, Giovinco took North America by storm in his first season where he dominated the league. Dribbling, passing, scoring goals, always a threat putting fear into defenders who try to stop the atomic ant.
Luca Toni (Verona), Graziano Pellè (Southampton), Daniele Baselli (Torino)